Freedom to be myself

Definition:  Freedom

  1. The condition of not being in prison or captivity
  2. The quality of being frank, open and outspoken

Definition of Freedom as it relates to how I think, act and behave

(Being who I really am)

FREEDOM: In order to be free to be my authentic self, I need to recognize the false belief systems that are controlling my thoughts which in turn controls my words and actions.

These hidden blockages are the greatest obstacles to my spiritual and personal growth

Awareness is the key – seeking awareness opens the door and brings these controlling false beliefs into the light

Once in the light, I have a chance to recognize and work on changing these sabotaging behaviors

Given the fact that these negative beliefs, thoughts, words and actions are the greatest cause of my suffering, misunderstandings and conflict with self and others, why wouldn’t I want to expose them to the light and practice a better way?

In our list of definitions above:

Definition 1. Says that freedom is not being held captive – could this also apply to our thoughts and attitudes?

Am I taking those random thoughts and words captive before I take action?

Two Wolves – A Cherokee Parable

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

“One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

“The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

“This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf will win?”

The old chief simply replied,
“The one you feed.”

Author Unknown
(possibly a Cherokee parable, and going back probably at least to the 1950’s in print – but unconfirmable)

Artwork by Denton Lund

Two Wolves – A Cherokee Parable Artwork by Denton Lund

What I give power has power – Both are present – Which one will I feed and practice?

Negative attitudes and negative thinking – condemnation of self, beating up on self, judgment of self and comparison of self to others, intertwined with jealousy of what others have or possess.

a. Critical Thinking: beating up on myself, like a critical parent, being my own worst critic

b. Negative Thinking: Looking through the lenses of victimhood, judgment and/or jealousy

c. Low self-esteem, believing you are less than, unworthy and unlovable are a few of the blockages and huge obstacles blocking spiritual and personal growth.

d. They cause great suffering, misunderstanding and conflicts in our relationship with self, others and God.

Positive Attitudes and positive Thinking – viewing life as an opportunity to grow and see what is blocking our happiness and working on a plan to practice a better way… is a much better and happier path.

Just like the camino way, if we get our thoughts and attitudes positive and then show up for what life has to unfold in front of us, we will be able to see the choices manifest in our path.

There are many reasons why you may have developed a negative set of beliefs that act as a negative internal judge. Because thoughts attract similar thoughts and grow in the subconscious, the negative internal judge grows within you.

Negative beliefs will generate negative emotions until you take a stand. You must operate from a place of strength and confidence to prevail over the internal judge.

Fight back with positive everything. We get rid of an inner judge in the same way we get rid of a bully.

How to deal with a bully and get your Groove Back

Most children and teenagers are experienced in dealing with bullies. I just did not expect to meet a 75 mean old man bully. I am a 70 year young woman.

You would think that as a grown-up, I would have the expertise necessary to quickly identify the bully, and deal with the situation with efficiency and ease. The sad truth is, my bully had the extraordinary power of making me feel like an unlikable, unworthy, powerless and submissive child. Although I pretended to be calm, cool, and unaffected his condescending aggressive tone and cold remarks, in reality, I was a shaking, terrified and a shameful mess. This toxic encounter left me feeling damaged, shaken, and unsure of myself. Which brings me to the first rule of getting rid of a bully.

Take Back the Power. My bully had all the power from the start. He immediately treated me with so little respect, that I began to question whether I deserved his respect at all.

I was caught off guard, I dearly wish that I would have had the strength and awareness to stand up to him right away, to take the power back into my own hands.

I was naïve enough to let this behavior drag on for far too long. He was a person with a lot of recovery years and I guess I expected him to know better with all that time in recovery.

I truly felt that if I was calm and pointed out that I did not know him and that he did not know me and that the way he was speaking to me was rude and unkind.

I felt he would listen to reason and I felt it was my obligation to make our interactions more pleasant and tolerable. It was my duty to try. And I did try.

I realized that no matter what I said, his agenda was to take me down.

Kill them with Kindness. An age-old idiom. Does it work? I tried to talk to him and it did not work, so I walked away and just cried.

Belief system: I tend to believe that most people are inherently good and when confronted with the truth they will want to say they are sorry and do the right thing. I had to crush that idea, because it sets me up to be taken off guard when a really cold-hearted bully does show up.

Giving them space in my head: I walked away from him and he stayed at a distance and gave me the evil eye. I wanted to go over and get in his face and tell him that he is a mean person and scream at him. Thank God I did not do that. Why? Because that is what a bully gets off on…. Taking you out of balance and making you look crazy. How sick is that????? I had a problem was that for most of the day, I kept rehashing the situation and seeing his mean looks and replay his words and actions over and over in my head until I realized that he got me. He won…He took me down…He had power over my thoughts.

Bring a Buddy. I thought about talking to someone else who knew him and try to get them to get him to see reason. However, I knew that would only make matters worse. Did I really think that I could change him? It was not my responsibility to change him. It was my responsibility to take care of myself.

Don’t Argue. Don’t bother arguing with a bully. They are often driven by anger, which means that all logic goes out the window. You can’t win. I realized that.

Cut Ties. Although I endured being bullied for far longer than I should have, I ultimately reached the point of no return – and this is where I walked away. This was not the type of person I wanted in my life. The sad part is that he was badmouthing me to the others in the group and I was sadness about that. These bullies can be like a cancer that spreads. I had to let it go. This moment was painful, but I knew after the storm passed, I would be free.

Because bullying is such a shameful and childish behavior, we are often quick to dismiss the issue as something uniquely belonging to children. Children are still feeling their way through life, forming morals and values, and emerging through experiences with a developing sense of self.

It’s far easier to excuse this type of behavior from little ones, as we can easily justify that “they didn’t know any better,” or “they are still learning right from wrong.” As their little bodies and minds continue to develop and strengthen, it is our responsibility as adults to teach them traits like compassion, empathy, kindness, acceptance, and inclusion of others.

So then, what happens when – as adults – we experience this wretched behavior from another adult? It can only leave us to wonder, what went wrong? We have zero tolerance for the bullying of our children, why should it be any different for adults?

It took me a very long time to let this go, to release the blood-boiling anger, to stop re-playing things in my head, to get back to where I used to be.

Actually, I’m not sure if I ever got back to where I used to be, but that’s okay. The whole experience made me second-guess myself.

Take back your Power: This experience forced me to grow. It pushed me to examine why I was letting him affect my life so much. Why I allowed his negative behavior to take me out of balance?

It made me dig a little deeper into myself to understand why I allowed that behavior to persist for so long.

It made me stronger. And it made me better. Why, because I stopped blaming myself and trying to fix things when it wasn’t my issue.

My issue was that I allowed him to take away my peace and serenity. The memory of the hurt is seared into my brain, but now I decide who is worthy of being in my life. I decide how I let people affect me. I decide if I am interesting, fun, beautiful, and worthy.

I realize some people get off on being mean and controlling and enjoy taking others off balance. I have to recognize it sooner and not get sucked into their crazies.

Grown-up bullies are real, and you do not have to let them in. Active drinking alcoholic are experts. This distraction puts the blame on you and distracts you from criticizing their drinking.

But, if these bullies somehow creep their way in, as they sometimes sneakily do, refer to the steps above. Get rid of them and get your power and groove back.

What other people think of you is none of your business…You want people in your life who want to be around you and who like who you are…

We all are unique and beautiful creations of God…not perfect…a work in progress…keep open, honest and willing and keep growing spiritually.    Love you all….Esther Mae

Published by Esther Mae

Happy, Joyous and Free. Enjoying life and retirement. Oct 5, 202, I completed the FEl Camino de Santiago de Frances, over 550 miles, beginning August 15, 2021 in St-Jean-Pied-De-Port, France and ending in Santiago and walked through the Holy Door. I am 70 year young. Read about some of my adventures. I have a close relationship with my Higher Power, whom I choose to call God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Spiritual growth and enlightenment are my priorities in life. Please jump on the spiritual soul train with me as I walk and try to practice a spiritual way of life. Esther Mae

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: